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Chapter 8

The Cosmic Rift

The final showdown is ahead. We summon Flammie with the drum and fly high above
the Mana Tree. He drops us off on what looks like the entrance to a church
floating in the sky, and we waste no time in moving forward.

Game mechanic-wise, we now have crystals substituting the normal obstacles,
large blue orbs substituting the barrels (there are also shinier ones with
orbiting smaller orbs that act more like the floating clouds we saw on the Path
of Life as they can move over pits). You’ll find that purple small crystals
will inflict a random status ailment and have spikes underneath so watch out.

Also spikes are multi-coloured here. Syl tells me that if you hammer down the
spikes for one colour, the holes next to them of the same colour will sprout
spikes, meaning you can open paths through them.

After a certain point you will see summoning circles on the floor. These will
sprout an enemy when you walk over them in some cases. You can also break them
with a charged hammer attack, sometimes producing an item.

Another new one is multi-coloured giant dice. ou can use them like barrels, but
when they stop moving after th first hit, depending what they land on the
result will be different. A Green means a mosnter will hatch from it, a Yellow
produces an item and Purple makes it explode.

The Gold Rank requirement for this level is 12000. I know this because I got
11979 on one play through and got Silver, but 12174 got me Gold.

-1st Zone
Gleamdrop: Eliminate all monsters
Gleamwell: Hidden by a crystal

An easy introductory level, hack your way through the monsters and then reveal
the Gleampool under the large crystal in the centre of the level. Don’t think
the level is going to be this easy all the way through though.

-2nd Zone
Gleamdrop: Hidden in a chest
Gleamwell: Hidden by a crystal

Use the blue orbs to the best possible effect to clear a path through the
crystals, or you’ll be here a long time! There are two silver chests in the top
right and bottom left corners. The top right one should have the GleamDrop. The
GleamPool should be under a crystal at the middle bottom of the level. Watch
out for the flying swords, they’re nastier than they used to be.

-3rd Zone
Gleamdrop: Hidden by a crystal
Gleamwell: Hidden by a crystal

In my case the GleamPool was under the crystal right next to the starting
point, so make sure you uncover that before you go any farther, as this will
save you the job of knocking down every other crystal in the level. As for the
Gleamdrop it is under the only batch of small crystals I came across around the
middle of the level. We also see the return of another old friend, the Chess
Knight. If you want extra brownie points, make sure you head up and left from
the Gleamdrop, as you’ll find a vortex spewing out swords like no tomorrow.
Take this down, and head up to receive 3 golden chests. You’ll also come across
two trapped bronze chests. Defeat these with an arrow.

-4th Zone
Gleamdrop: Defeat a certain monster
Gleamwell: ——–

Now this guy is what I call a monster. Head along the level right until the
end, where you’ll see the Gleampool guarded by a rather nasty looking armoured
man, with a monstruous head on each arm. Shame that he didn’t have the time to
attack me, he went down in three sowrd strikes. If you’re not feeling
confident, use the blue orbs to weaken him a bit first, then charge in and
finish him off.

Take advantage of this save point to check if you’ve received any beefier
weaponry from the monsters in the level, as well as checking that you’re happy
with the way your gems are arranged now you know the terrain a bit better.

-5th Zone
Gleamdrop: Defeat a certain monster
Gleamwell: Hidden by a crystal

The enemy to defeat here is the red dragon at the top of the level. Also watch
out for sudden appearances of other red dragons when you step on the summoning
circles on the ground. For example, just next to where the visible one is. The
Gleampool is over to the far top right. We will also see now that there are
purple small crystals. These will inflict a random status ailment, as well as
reveal spikes. Also if you want to get the far chests, use the floating orbs
with the hammer to knock down the crystals (the flying eyes work pretty well
too), then flail back the contents.

-6th Zone
Gleamdrop: Defeat a certain group
Gleamwell: Hidden by a crystal

The enemies to defeat here are the red Shadow Zero’s. The Gleampool is in the
top left corner. There is also a golden chest via a passage way full of
crystals. To make quick work of this, push the blue orb to the entrance of the
passage way and hammer it down there. Otherwise you’re going to be in for a
long ailment filled hack and slash until you get there.

-7th Zone
Gleamdrop: Hidden by a crystal
Gleamwell: Hidden by a crystal

The Gleamdrop is under a puple crystal just to the right of where you start,
above a silver chest. As for the pool, it should be under the top right
corner’s crystal, though there are another 4 or 5 along the top that it may
vary to. You’ll want to get the chests on the isolated islands, as these will
increase your chance of a Gold Rank, even though they don’t hold anything of
great interest to us. Keep the Gleamdrop with you, it’s a large level and it is
easy to take far too long roaming around afterwards to get the drop to the
pool.

-8th Zone
Gleamdrop: Defeat a certain monster
Gleamwell: ——–

Again our ugly friend is back. We can use the orbs to bash his brains around a
bit, or just charge in there, he’s a push-over. Take the drop he drops over to
the pool on the right and have another well-deserved rest.

We’ll arrive at a clearing with a pit in the middle, and we’ll see three
shadows appear around it. They will form into dark clones of the other game
characters (so if you’re playing as Tumble, they’ll form into Flick, Pop and
Wanderer). And we get to fight them! By the way, the time you spend looking at
them now counts against you, so hit A and have at them.

– Boss Battle : Dopplegangers –

Each of the characters will adopt a different strategy. Flick will run at you,
knock you down, and run away again. Wanderer will try and knock you with his
hammer and Pop… well, he just ran away. I don’t know Tumbles strategy, but I
can give you one for defeating this lot.

Best bet is to head for Flick first, as he seems to be the most vicious, then
take down Wanderer, and lastly Pop. Wanderer will probably knock you from your
feet once, but if you go for him first, you’ll find yourself running after
Flick once he’s hit you once. Time-wise, I had these guys down in under 10
seconds, but the counter on the game counts from the moment you enter the room,
so you’ll end up with a 1x Bonus no matter what you do.

Note, on replay I defeated them in 17 seconds clocked, and still only 1x bonus,
so I get the feeling you just can’t get more than that.

We’ll now see an FMV with Tess praying amongst the trees, who will call out our
name. Then, as quickly as it started, we’re back into the thick of it.

-10th Zone
Gleamdrop: Hidden in a chest
Gleamwell: Hidden by a crystal

The pool will be under a crystal near the top middle of the level. As for the
drop, there are 4 possible locations, and those are the silver chests guarded
by Chess Knights along the passageways in each corner of the level. The most
likely is the bottom left, but you want to do all four anyway for the chest
bonus.

-11th Zone
Gleamdrop: Defeat a certain monster
Gleamwell: Hidden by a crystal

The Gleampool is hidden rather obviously under the crystal in the dead centre
of the level. The drop is held by the ugly gargoyle creature on the right side
of the level. He’ll go down pretty quick, though he does have a considerable HP
level. There are also another three or four of these guys hidden in the dice-
cubes in the centre of the zone, so take them out too. Rememer the golden chest
along the top of the level, guarded by two red dragons, even if it is only an
impure gem.

-12th Zone
Gleamdrop: Hidden in a chest
Gleamwell: Hidden by a crystal

This zone is long, so you’ve been warned. Start off going to the bottom right
hand corner, then fo the left side to get the Gleamdrop. Also bring with you
the floating orb. DON’T use it going up the right hand side of the level around
the middle, it’s a decoy. Take it up the centre all the time. At the end of the
level is where you’re going to find both orbs useful. There are some golden
chests at the end up passages of crystals, as well as the Gleampool hidden at
the end of the far left passage under the big crystal (there’s another, so you
may have to check that one too). Alternatively, the flail is going to be your
best bet.

-13th Zone
Gleamdrop: Defeat a certain group
Gleamwell: ——–

Now we are faced with two ugly ducklings, one in the top left, another in the
bottom right. To take them out, use the floating orbs to break the crystals
guarding them, then pummle them with arrows. The last one to go down will need
the drop recovering from him with the flail, so make sure you don’t knock him
out of your reach (although I don’t think this can technically happen, you
don’t want to risk it anyway).

We have arrived once more at a save point. But it’s not over yet.

-14th Zone
Gleamdrop: Hidden by a crystal
Gleamwell: Hidden by a crystal

Ooh, pretty flowers. Don’t spend too long looking at them, there’s work to do.
Anyway, this level is a real pain. The drop is hidden under a crystal that is
not too far left of the centre. There are a bunch of dragons in the middle, and
you’d think they can’t do anything, but they can teleport, so watch out! The
Gleampool should be under a large crystal in the top right corner of the zone.

-15th Zone
Gleamdrop: Defeat a certain group
Gleamwell: Hidden by a crystal

Work your way round the outside of the spikes defeating all the purple dragons,
as these hold the Gleamdrop, then when you’ve taken down the last one, make
your way into the middle via the crystals on either side and take down the
crystal in the centre with the Gleampool. There is also a golden chest to the
right that you may want to get, just go down the passage way from the left.
Another chest is a silver one on the left hand side of the level, you can get
to it by cutting down some flowers. They’re harmless so don’t worry about using
the ball necessarily.

-16th Zone
Gleamdrop: Hidden by a crystal
Gleamwell: Hidden by a crystal

The pool is obvious, it is right at the top of the level. The drop on the other
hand is a pain to get to. Now, first off you may want to do some exploring over
to the right of the level. There are two vortexes producing enemies, which is
why you won’t encounter many enemies or they’ll appear slowly throughout the
rest of the level. Behind these are some one or two golden chests. On the far
left, there are two chests guarded by large crystals. Use the tomatomen to
knock these down by hammering them across. As for the drop, follow a bit
further up from these lasts chests and you’ll find a whole field of crystals.
Again, use enemies to billiard down the crystals and find the drop as quickly
as possible, then take it up to the top.

-17th Zone
Gleamdrop: Defeat a certain monster
Gleamwell: ——–

You’re going to have to walk over some spikes on the left I’m afraid, then use
the floating orb to mow down some of the flowers and make a path over to the
red dragons and the walking armour holding the drop. Once you’ve done that,
take the drop to the left again, drop it upon hitting the spikes, then flail it
back across. Painful, I know, but necessary. This is the quickest method.
Otherwise, you could mow down the flowers from this side of the pit, wait for
them to approach and use arrows, but this takes far too long.

Another save point, use it well.

We run out into a clearing, and from beneath the ground plants of all colours
begin to sprout, and among them, one last plant with the face of a child that
screams out at you. This is the scion of Mana. Another FMV will show us Tess at
the foot of the tree once more.

"Whose soul wields it decides out fate…"

We take up the Mana Sword in hand and ask it to show the weight of our soul,
the future of this world. Not that we’re going to use it as a weapon itself,
but the dramatic gesture had to be there. Thus begins the final battle.

– Boss Battle : The Scion of Mana –

The beastie has two types of attacks. The first is to make impenetrable bushes
sprout in a formation on the ground, leaving us few paths to follow, then it
will descend at the top of the level, and try to grab us with vines that come
down from above. If these get hold of us, we’re paralyzed, and then released
with a bang. Not too damaging though.

The second attack type is to make mowable flowers sprout, then appear at a
certain part of the arena surrounded by various attacking plants, and then
disappear shortly afterwards.

There is also a third attack which isn’t seen quite so often, unless you
inflict damage on the surrounding plants in the second attack and not inflict
much on the Scion itself. The Scion will appear in the centre of the level and
fill the rest with flowers, then sprout palm leaves from his head and cause
seeds to drop from the sky. Now these hurt, but not as much as when they
sprout. They form vine clusters that then emit explosions and send you flying
all over the place.

The strategy? You’ll be using your radar a lot. Once the point shows, head for
it. If it is at the top, prepare your bow and pummle it with arrows, or use the
sword if you get directly beneath it.

When the point appears elsewhere, again run toward it, then hack away with your
sword as fast as you can before it disappears again. The pattern will generally
be 1 2 1 2, so it is easy to follow, just look out for the point on the radar.

The beastie went down in 3 minutes on my first attempt while writing this, so
you be the judge as to how difficult it is. And now sit back, and relax,
watching the ending of the game.

Continue to next chapter…